Timaru activities and attractions

This busy coastal south island port and holiday resort is a gateway to the mountains, lakes and rivers of the Central South Island. The town is known for its elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, made of volcanic bluestone. Timaru’s focal point is beautiful Caroline Bay. This well-equipped and safe swimming beach is bordered by a 20ha reserve which has children’s playgrounds, gardens, tennis courts, an aviary, a skating rink and plenty of carparking.

South Canterbury Museum

The excellent museum explores the area’s whaling history, with some good examples of scrimshaw (whale bone etchings). There are also local Maori artefacts and a replica of the first aeroplane designed and flown by local farmer and inventor, Richard Pearse. Pearse was believed to have flown his craft a year before the Wright brothers made their historic flight at Kittyhawk in 1904.

Pleasant Point

Located 19km north of Timaru, the township is home to the Pleasant Point steam railway, the award-winning Opihi vineyard and Denheath House.

Maori Rock Art

Timaru and nearby Waimate districts share some 500 sites dating from the 16th century, the most famous of which is the Taniwha (sea monster) near Hanging Rock.

Ski Areas

The town is a convenient base for winter skiers, and there are several ski areas within two hours’ drive including Mt Dobson, Fox Peak, Mt Hutt, Ohau and Tekapo.

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